The Valley of Desolation is situated 14km North-West of Graaff-Reinet in the Camdeboo Nature Reserve. One drives up a steep, narrow road into the mountains surrounding Graaf-Reinet. There are view points and picnic areas on the way to the top. The first view point over-looks Graaff-Reinet and the Karoo expanse towards Pearston.
The next view point is at the columns itself. One can find clean restrooms here. The walk from the parking area to the columns is worth it. Overlooking the plains of the Camdeboo is a sight to be remembered.
The Valley of Desolation is a product of erosive and volcanic forces and has a very diverse eco-system. There are over 220 bird species, 336 plant species and 43 species of mammals. There are different hiking trails through the area that take one via the different viewpoints. The shortest trail is 1, 5 km long and takes roughly one hour to complete. Other trails are 5km, 11km and 14km long. An overnight trial is also available.
Remember to take along cash when visiting the Valley of Desolation. An entrance fee is charged per person on entering the reserve. There are braai and picnic facilities available which can make an outing even more worth your while.